Gay Professional Athletes

The Art of Coming Out as a High-Profile Athlete

The Art of Coming Out as a High-Profile Athlete

As far as open and inspiring athletes go, when it rains, apparently it pours. Recently, multiple gay athletes have come forward to publicly speak about their sexuality, and this week, University of Massachusetts athlete Derrick Gordon joined the group as the first openly gay male NCAA Division 1 basketball player. In a statement, Gordon said, "For my whole life I've been living my life as a lie. I am telling my story so that athletes never feel like they have to hide. You can be true to yourself and play the sport that you love."

Gordon's statement comes just a year after NBA player Jason Collins publicly came out, and both men are part of a history-making group of gay athletes who have stepped forward as some of the first LGBT pro athletes in their sport. Tennis legend Billie Jean King has been a vocal member of the gay community for years, and she helped pave the ways for others, like college football star Michael Sam, who sparked new debates last year about the NFL and homophobia, as he's poised to be the first openly gay professional football player if he's picked up in the 2014 draft. Get to know the athletes who have made landmark strides for gay rights in the sporting world.

Source: Getty
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